Our first foray into the American Girl Place in New York with The Kid was a bit of an eye opener and I have to confess that we did have a bit of a giggle at the craziness of it all.
Parents (mainly dads) carrying multiple red bags, sitting in the waiting room of the Beauty Salon (asleep!), families dining in the dining room, dolls that looked real – which collectively was a bit scary, little girls dressed in the same outfit as their dolls and multiple floors of pink candy stripes and well – more dolls.
However, if you see all of this through the eyes of a child – you will realise that we ended up being well and truly dragged in and five visits later, we did emerge through the revolving doors carrying said red bags and laughing the other side of our smug faces.
You are quite right in thinking that we appear to be quite sensible people on the whole but in our defence this place is a whole new world.
On a corner of 5th Avenue lies a very unique shop for little ladies wishing to purchase a doll that looks a bit like them and with whom they can experience a world of activities and experiences that are equal to girl heaven – and some.
Dolls can be selected to match a child’s skin, hair and eye colour. The rest of the floors are a little bit like a department store for dolls in so far as you can purchase outfits, accessories, friends, more dolls, books, food and hair and beauty treatments. I understand that there is also a dolls hospital should one be required.
So, armed with her birthday money, The Kid decided that she wanted to buy one of these dolls. At $115 before taxes at the till, these dolls are rather an extravagant purchase. However, it was her money and after we explained all of this, she decided to go ahead on the basis that it would always remind her of the holiday.
So which one then?
That part took care of two visits at least. When faced with an army of dolls, choosing the right one can be a very nerve-wracking experience for the uninitiated.
Our experience in the shop showed us that it was simply the best compliment if someone said how much your doll looked like you. No pressure here then.
At this point I should warn you that The Kid’s doll did not come with that outfit OR that hairdo. We are only on Visit 4 anyway so keep up!
Doll holders can be found in cubicles and next to sinks. No need for grubby mitts.
It was at this point, The Kid decided she would like to get the dolls hair done. So up a few flights and we found ourselves here.
Only to find there were no appointments. I kid you not!
Which meant that there would need to be a 5th visit. As we pencilled in a 3pm appointment for the last day of the holiday.
So for now, we could leave.
Until the next day when we saw ourselves running down 5th Avenue in the 30 degree heat to get to the hair appointment.
Where the hair was beautifully plaited by a doll stylist
But there was no time for any further treatments
We had a plane to catch and this doll needed to get back to the UK along with her owner.
And her lovely hairdo.
We had to miss this.
And of course you won’t be surprised to see this.
Of course he couldn’t wait to muscle in.
And we made sure to walk far enough in front so that he looked like he was on his own.
Me thinks he may be needing this!
All told we probably spent a day of the holiday in this shop. It was like nothing on earth, yet wonderful and crazy at the same time. Pure jaw-dropping entertainment for the adult and the child.
The doll and her owner are now safely back in the UK and all is well.
No further beauty treatments have been necessary.
Would you have done the same?